ERIC Number: ED196077
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: N/A
Incorporation of Operating Precepts of Roman Rhetoric in Medieval and Renaissance Handbooks on Letter Writing. Working Paper No. 217.
Hildebrandt, Herbert W.
The ancient world, as exemplified in the theoretical writings of the Greek and Roman rhetoricians, directly influenced the teaching and practice of dictamen as taught for business, for the church, and for law in the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. Prescriptions on how to communicate in the ancient world formed the core of preparation for the assembly where one could debate, speak, and discuss matters of state. Thus developed compendiums of rules and models for persuading in public, giving students precepts of rhetoric that remained unchanged for centuries. The precepts included inventio, dispositio, elocutio, memoria and pronuntiatio or actio. As the medieval world applied these canons to the written word, and as public speaking (except for church oratory) went into an eclipse, memoria and pronuntiatio dropped from the theory, not to reenter rhetoric until centuries later. Throughout the Middle Ages there was never a great demand for able public speakers and therefore rhetoric in the old sense of the word was systematically neglected and thus deprived of its reason for existence--training persons for oral discourse. Thus written communication took over the three tenets of rhetoric and employed them in the service of dictamen. This is reflected in selected Italian, German, and English works on written communication. (HOD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. Graduate School of Business Administration.